Nikon’s new SB–300 is an entry-level speed light that you probably shouldn’t buy. It’s a tilting, non-swivel model that runs off two AA batteries, costs $150 and has pretty much zero off-camera manual control.
The SB–300 is meant for people who just want to spend $150 on a new accessory they’ll never use. If you’re serious about using flash in your photography, you’ll pick something manual, and you will use the flash off camera. The SB–300 can’t help with either. It sits up on top of the camera and either fires harsh light directly at your subject, or tilts up to 120˚ to bounce its light around. It uses Nikon’s iTTL to work with the camera’s brain for correct exposure.
$150 is clearly a price picked to undercut way better flashes like the Lumopro LP180 ($200), which is a much better (and much more useful) machine. As far as I can determine from the specs, the SB–300 doesn’t even have a PC socket for a wired connection—if you want to use this flash off camera you’ll be stuck paying $112 for Nikon’s own SC–29 sync cable.
I’m not just trying to be mean here. I genuinely can’t see a reason for anyone to buy this flash, unless they really, really like the horrible light from their camera’s built-in flash and want a slightly more powerful version.